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Everything posted by mskatiemae

  1. Speaking empathetically for Crystal is fine and your explanation seems very rational. I booked first on Crystal in 2012, after having done only a couple of cruises prior to that one, and waited to book until an offer of $800 pp shore excursion OBC came into my email inbox for one voyage. Was on that late July/early August 12 days Lisbon to Rome itinerary, barely more than 250 passengers and it was Serenity in its pre-Seabreeze 1,000+ capacity! I can explain the low booking rate perhaps as due to extreme heat in the western Med earlier that summer, fallout from the Costa Concordia sinking, or from the infrequent but persistent terrorist strikes nearby. The following 7 days Rome to Venice voyage was apparently booked to full capacity, so much so that Ambassador hosts were asked to room together. So the business of managing booking demand is a fickle thing and in current times must be especially hard for them. As a current passenger (who has also been on a few nearly full capacity sailings) it is an opportunity to support my favorite line and perhaps there will be some new people coming to try it out like I did.
  2. Keith, Please add these to 2022 Symphony: Jan 8 Miami to San Juan mskatiemae Jan 15 San Juan to Miami mskatiemae April 16 Athens R/T mskatiemae Thanks, Catherine
  3. And for your beloved the title should be "Culinary Medical Advisor". (For those who find this cryptic, immediately go to The Bistro thread for the recent Kenz culinary adventure updates).
  4. Yes! Vince is making me wonder if Crystal should add a couple of new things. One would be adding photos to the menus (since they are now digital) and the other would be starting up a new program of "culinary ambassador hosts" who would be hosting tables for and guiding culinary adventures for the guests who may like to try new dishes. I also immediately want to nominate Vince to get this started and develop strategies to deliver it. Then he should have a hefty consulting fee that will get him enough $ for booking the C.P. ! 🙂 🙂
  5. Oh darn, forgot about that change. Well I suppose one could purchase from the connoisseur list some nice wine and gift it to the staff... I have gifted wine from onshore purchases to some spa and shop people who did a great service and it was appreciated!
  6. I use the same TA as Stickman1990 and have always been given a choice between a check sent to my home at the same time I sail or else an OBC for the sailing I am on which I find is never a problem to spend (I love the spa and do some ship excursions). If you do not want to give your leftovers on OBC to Crystal then please consider stopping by the front desk the day before you disembark to donate to the crew fund or spend on tips for specific crew!
  7. I was looking at a solo booking for an A1 in March and the 14-day b2b is less than $4000 with port fees included. It is tempting, though for now I will keep my booking for a 12-day Athens round trip a few weeks later.
  8. I always get my hopes up when I see the K banner show up in the Bistro. You did not disappoint! Great story, happy to know that OLoPP is a bonafide first aid genius, and you survived "Serrano shingles". It can't be as scary though as my first hot pepper chopping adventure in college when I (duh) touched my tearing up eyes with chopping fingers. Lucky me there was a large bathtub spout with good water pressure in the next room for an emergency eye wash deluge.
  9. Your cruise is in November not 9-19-21 (September). So in two months.
  10. Only if your shirt coordinates, you have a matching camo mask, and you don't wear socks with your sandals. Sheesh!
  11. I hope you have a great voyage with all the fun and relaxation you would like. If by thinking you mean "ah, Umi Uma or Prego?, when can one get Portuguese tarts?, sunning at the pool or a swim?, time for trivia or a book at the library?" then go ahead and think. Otherwise - thinking should remain very optional! More bon voyage, Ice Bear and C-sea!
  12. The only time I have been escorted to my Stateroom upon embarkation was on Crystal Mozart. It's unnecessary but nice and in that case it was part of the embarkation which is just as easy and quick as you'd expect on river cruises.
  13. It has occurred to me that the new offer for the Mozart of solo traveler staterooms with no supplement can conceivably be booked - one by each member of a couple so each has their own suite. It could even be hilarious to act like you are Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant in "An Affair to Remember" and avoiding whoever would snoop on you. Okay, I have gone way off topic now, maybe need to move to The Bistro. Slightly back to the topic is that each person having their own suite means each has their own bathroom, meaning shower. Now that to me is true luxury!
  14. I also worry about getting "used to" the extra space and butler services, as I have never sailed in a penthouse. As of 2021 I still have never flown business class overseas and am worried that is another example where once I get the luxury it will be hard to go back. I am planning on more lovely Crystal River cruises and those always have butlers and more space. In my plans that will be a critical next move up the ladder into the "lap of luxury." I am ready to try flying business class (booked it for my next Symphony trip set for April 2022). Vince your logic is as usual perfect. I will hold a wish for you and whoever you want to bring along that you will someday get the CP and maybe then I will be invited to your cocktail party! Catherine
  15. I will also miss the knitting group, although I am not a knitter. They are the ones who introduced me to the delicious Crystal ginger cosmos!! I will also mention (since the topic of upgrades has come up on this thread) that a week ago I was offered upgrade from SH to PS and I turned it down. It was not worth the price being asked.
  16. As Keith has often pointed out, different things matter in the offerings to different people - and of course on different itineraries the same person might want different hotel bookings and transportation than they would at other places/times. In NYC I have booked one night of the Crystal hotel package. This is for extra assurance as I want our transportation to be relatively stress-free. I normally in traveling to Manhattan use Airbnb, Lyft to and from the airport, and walking. On disembarking from Symphony there in late August 2018 I walked from the ship to my Airbnb with my luggage in tow. In this upcoming trip I am looking to rely on Crystal. I have found the hotel plan transport service to be worth the cost especially with so many potential travel disruptions and issues with weather, airlines, Covid19, and infrastructure. What I am looking for in this particular journey is more of a seamless experience. In prior trips to Europe Crystal has provided me that and I am looking for that same level of service. Thanks Vince for explaining how the hotel contracts may work in the background. I was assuming that my booking would be part of how the whole operation is put in place for the passengers who take advantage of it.
  17. Just caught a rainbow on the Panomax camera - Serenity docked in Nassau.
  18. Hope the sea is not too surly for you. Also try the ginger cosmos 🙂 onboard.
  19. Thanks for the info about policy at Delta airlines! I hadn't thought of that, looking at the Contract of Carriage on the website it's right there stated in black and white, so if any unfortunate Covid infections turn up I will know it will be possible to claim on insurance coverage for any extended hotel stay.
  20. Does this reflect as evidence that "red sky in the morning, sailors take warning" is a truthful aphorism?
  21. Haha - Mine came last week, a full 4 weeks for USPS to get it to them and 8 weeks for the processing. Not bad. I tried to get expedited service but had failed, & eventually decided to wait. Thanks again!
  22. Oh that sounds lovely. Is there a shortcut also for the Hollandaise? I used to serve A-1 sauce when my son Alexander was little. As a teenager he told me he had always read that label as "AL" sauce i.e. his namesake sauce!
  23. Every time you win at trivia it counts for bragging rights...congratulations!
  24. To clarify, my pondering whether one could fly home on a US domestic flight after testing positive for Covid and being denied boarding on the cruise ship - the pondering was not to say I'd prefer to fly with Covid infection at all - it was really to anticipate whether my insurance that covers cancellation due to Covid might NOT also cover 10 days of take out meals and hotel stay in New York City for 10-day quarantine and would they assume that I should be getting on a plane (if it is legal) and to do any quarantine required at home? I did not make my concern about flying fully clear in my post earlier. I would definitely not want to fly while infected but wonder about insurance plans that say they cover a quarantine or Covid but might not be up for paying the cost to quarantine (especially in Midtown NYC). At that point might they just be able to ask me to fly home, since there isn't any restriction? That is my query. Perhaps they provide a per diem for a quarantine period like the Bahamas did but I would like to have some idea about how this is handled if anyone is familiar with typical coverage for this in the US. Hypothetically, as we are all still so very new at doing pandemics!
  25. While I likewise respect that others are free to have their own beliefs re money issues, I serve as my own financial advisor and my logic is the same as what Keith has said. The economics of interest, inflation and investment were taught to me by my dad at an early age (depression baby and accounting professor) and selling when prices are high, buying when prices are low is just plain old common sense. I have done pretty well using my logic, and for me the investment in travel opportunity is one of the easiest choices to make.
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